Alzheimer's disease future or investigational therapies

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

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Overview

As of 2010, more than 700 clinical trials were investigating possible treatments for AD, but it is unknown if any of them will prove successful.[1] Many measures have been suggested for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, but the value of these measures is unproven in slowing the course and reducing the severity of the disease.

Clinical research

As of 2008, the safety and efficacy of more than 400 pharmaceutical treatments are being investigated in clinical trials worldwide, and approximately one-fourth of these compounds are in Phase III trials, which is the last step prior to review by regulatory agencies.[2] It is unknown whether any of these trials will ultimately prove successful in treating the disease.

A critical area of clinical research is focused on treating the underlying disease pathology. Reduction of amyloid beta levels is a common target of compounds under investigation. Immunotherapy or vaccination for the amyloid protein is one treatment modality under study. Unlike vaccines which seek to prevent disease, this therapy would be used to treat diagnosed patients, and is based upon the concept of training the immune system to recognize, attack, and reverse deposition of amyloid, thereby altering the course of the disease.[3] An example of such a vaccine currently under investigation is ACC-001.[4][5] Similar agents are bapineuzumab, an antibody designed as identical to the naturally-induced anti-amyloid antibody,[6] and MPC-7869, a selective amyloid beta-42 lowering agent.[7] Other approaches are neuroprotective agents, such as AL-108,[8] metal-protein interaction attenuation agents, such as PBT2,[9] or tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor fusion proteins, such as etanercept.[10][11][12] There are also many basic investigations attempting to increase the knowledge on the origin and mechanisms of the disease that may lead to new treatments.

References

  1. "Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials". US National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  2. "Clinical Trials. Found 459 studies with search of: alzheimer". US National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  3. Vaccination:
  4. "Study Evaluating ACC-001 in Mild to Moderate Alzheimers Disease Subjects". Clinical Trial. [FDA clinicaltrials.gov]. 2008-03-11.
  5. "Study Evaluating Safety, Tolerability, and Immunogenicity of ACC-001 in Subjects With Alzheimer's Disease".
  6. "Bapineuzumab in Patients With Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease/ Apo_e4 non-carriers". Clinical Trial. US National Institutes of Health. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  7. "Efficacy Study of MPC-7869 to Treat Patients With Alzheimer's". Clinical Trial. US National Institutes of Health. 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  8. "Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy Study to Evaluate Subjects With Mild Cognitive Impairment". Clinical Trial. US National Institutes of Health. 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  9. "Study Evaluating the Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of PBT2 in Patients With Early Alzheimer's Disease". Clinical Trial. US National Institutes of Health. 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  10. Tobinick E, Gross H, Weinberger A, Cohen H (2006). "TNF-alpha modulation for treatment of Alzheimer's disease: a 6-month pilot study". MedGenMed. 8 (2): 25. PMID 16926764.
  11. Griffin WS (2008). "Perispinal etanercept: potential as an Alzheimer therapeutic". J Neuroinflammation. 5: 3. doi:10.1186/1742-2094-5-3. PMID 18186919.
  12. Tobinick E (2007). "Perispinal etanercept for treatment of Alzheimer's disease". Curr Alzheimer Res. 4 (5): 550–552. doi:10.2174/156720507783018217. PMID 18220520.

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